Felis ISSN 2398-2950

Fecal analysis: parasites

Synonym(s): Fecal flotation; Baermann technique

Contributor(s): Ian Wright, Kenneth Simpson


  • In patent intestinal parasitic infections eggs will be laid and can be identified in fecal samples.


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  • Can be performed in practice with an adequate microscope.

Technique (intrinsic) limitations

  • Simple technique.
  • The number of parasitic life stages passed varies according to type of parasites.
  • Shedding of parasitic life stages can be intermittent.
  • Egg laying decreases as the worms age and often the host develops immunity which also reduces egg laying capacity of parasites.
  • Consistency of feces may affect egg count as in loose feces the eggs will be diluted.
  • Alternatives:
    • ELISA Enzyme linked immunosorbent assay (ELISA)  or GiardiaCryptosporidium.
    • Fecal flotation is thought to be more accurate but ELISA snap test for Giardia carries 90% sensitivity, is highly specific and avoids issues of intermittent cyst shedding.

Further Reading


Refereed papers